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Evanston Township High School mathmatics teacher and baseball coach Ross Freeland died Monday at the age of 41.

Freeland, who had taught and coached at the school since 2003 died of stomach cancer.

Visitation for Freeland is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Wenban Funeral Home at 320 E. Vine Ave., in Lake Forest.

At Monday’s Evanston City Council meeting, Alderman Don Wilson, 4th Ward, said Freeland had “touched the lives of thousands of people” through his teaching and coaching.

Mention of his death was also made at the joint meeting Monday night of Evanston’s two school boards, with board members expressing their condolences to Freeland’s family.


Update 9:40 p.m.: Freeland taught a wide range of math topics ranging from Algebra to AP Statistics, and was instrumental in the creation and launch of the new Algebra in Entrepreneurship course at ETHS, an interdisciplinary course that integrates Algebra with topics in business focused on entrepreneurship.

Freeland teaching Algebra in Entrepreneurship (Lynn Trautmann photo).

Math Department Chair Dale Leibforth called Freeland “an exceptional teacher, colleague and friend,” noting that his “character, kindness, consistency and daily example” was a model for every adult and student who crossed his path. “He always displayed the true heart of a Wildkit, with courage and grace, and will have a lasting impact on all of our lives,” Leibforth said.

“Mr. Freeland was an exceptional educator and coach,” said Assistant Superintendent Marcus Campbell. “He had this ability to see right to the heart of a young person’s potential, and would pour endless energy into inspiring all of our scholars to be the best versions of themselves in the classroom and on the field.”

In his coaching role, Freeland helped guide the varsity baseball team to two of its most successful back-to-back seasons these past two years, winning two IHSA Regional Championships, a Sectional Championship, CSL Championship, and breaking the ETHS record for most wins in a season.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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